Smarter Balanced Assessments: Keep Results in Perspective for Students and Their Families

In this short California Schools article, veteran educator Kathy Caric encourages districts and schools to implement effective strategies to inform parents and students about the value of multiple measures when reporting student progress. She notes that the expected low scores on the upcoming Smarter Balanced assessments may have an unnecessary negative impact on students when compared to grades and other tests.

Content Comments 

The purposes of this brief article are perhaps best defined in the article's title, especially the tag line: "Keep results in perspective for students and their families." The author meets that purpose effectively through a reasonable and fair presentation of information. While many districts and schools have warned parents and the public about expected low scores on new assessments, the author cautions about the negative impact on students. This is an important message since students are the ones taking the tests and who may well feel the greatest effect. Communications quality is excellent: this is an easy to read article. Utility should be strong and apply to virtually all states that are introducing new assessments. Utility may drop off, however, in subsequent years once the assessments are fully implemented.